March 2014

 



Argentina Legacy Labyrinth

 


We did it! The labyrinth in La Falda Argentina is complete after an intensely wonderful experience 

for all involved. (See Lauren’s blog for our Founder’s daily journal)


Watch for a feature article in our April eNews.


Thank you to John Ridder for the beautiful photo!


Donor Spotlight

By Rita Canning, Development Coordinator

For March I am delighted to share with you my interview with Sarah Elliott, Veriditas Board Chair, Certified Facilitator and donor.

Rita: When did you first encounter the labyrinth?

Sarah: 
I first encountered the labyrinth at my church. We had a canvas labyrinth that was laid out for one week during lent and one week during advent. There was an announcement in the Sunday bulletin that the labyrinth was available to walk. One day I was doing an errand at the church with my 6 year old son. At the time he was on spring break and I was trying to make everything we did an adventure. I had no idea what a labyrinth was. There was a display with Lauren’s book and a handout with some information on how to do it. I asked him if he’d like to walk it and he said yes. He was a very energetic little boy and I had no idea on how this would go. But he walked it with total respect, staying within the lines. When he got to the center he bowed his head, stayed quiet for a few moments and walked back out. The whole time I was walking I felt calm and peaceful and I really felt the presence of God. I thought to myself, “This is so weird, I’m walking in circles with my eyes open and I’m having this very beautiful experience.” From that moment I was hooked. I needed to know more about the labyrinth so I got Lauren’s book and started looking online. I began walking the labyrinth as a part of my prayer practice. Several years later I signed up for a workshop and facilitator training in Connecticut. And the rest is history.
Rita: When did you first get actively involved in Veriditas and when did you first meet Lauren?

Sarah: 
I met Lauren in 2007 at a Veriditas training I took. At that point my whole family knew how important the labyrinth had become for me so they encouraged me to take the training. I did it, but didn’t complete the certification as a facilitator at that time. I led a few walks at my church but wasn’t really connecting with Veriditas then and felt somewhat isolated in my practice at that time. I never had seen the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral and thought it would be good to do so. I talked my friend Ginger into coming with me to San Francisco to do the pilgrimage and to take the facilitator training with Lauren – she for the first time and as a refresher for me. It was a wonderful experience. I got reconnected with Lauren and met Dawn and Anne for the first time. After that I decided to go on the next Chartres pilgrimage which fell on my 50th birthday and again talked Ginger into going with me. At that point I really felt that I was being called to do something with Veriditas, but I didn’t know what. So during the week in Chartres I approached Lauren and asked her what she would suggest. The next day she came and asked me if I would serve on the Board of Directors. I was thrilled and said yes immediately. It’s been a great experience.
  Rita: Please share any inspirations or experiences you’ve had as a Board Member or with any of your involvement with Veriditas?

Sarah:
One of the perks of being a Board member is that you get to hang out with really cool people who love the labyrinth. And doing the work of the Board really inspires me and is a way that I can help support the labyrinth out in the world. I do facilitate walks at my church and get asked to facilitate walks at other area churches but I don’t have the reach that Veriditas does. I love to be able to support the organization in a way that allows the organization to reach lots of people. Veriditas does some very wonderful things. Among other activities we offer qualifying workshops, pilgrimages to Grace Cathedral and Chartres and we train facilitators. Supporting facilitators is the piece that I feel called to the most. As a Board member I get to see a wide variety of practices and styles which feeds my own facilitator practice. This enables me to offer to Veriditas my specific gifts.When I took facilitator training, we had to go around the room and introduce ourselves and say what our work background was. Everyone there was involved in some “helping” profession. I was a stay-at-home mom who used to practice law. I felt like a fish out of water. I wasn’t sure I could be a good facilitator because I didn’t have the kind of background that everyone else there did. Being on the Board allows me to use the gifts that I have in a way that is helpful to the whole labyrinth community and I’m grateful for that opportunity.

Rita: Why do you donate to Veriditas?

Sarah:
I think that Veriditas does something in the world that no other organization does the way that we do and it’s so needed in the world today. My own personal labyrinth practice has been so satisfying for me. It strengthens my faith, helps me find community, allows me to use my gifts in service and that’s been very important for me. I think that the world today really needs the gifts that the labyrinth offers. Quiet time, time for profound listening. Although there are lots of labyrinths now in the world it’s not enough. And we need people who are trained to introduce the labyrinth to more and more people in their communities. For that reason I give my time on the board. And I also give money because it’s crucial that Veriditas not only survive, but thrive.


Facilitator Spotlight
By Chris Farrow Noble, Council Member


How did you become aware of the labyrinth?


In 1997, my wife and I were dealing with the devastating experience of welcoming one surviving twin into our family while grieving the death of the other. I didn’t really have a body of spiritual practice that could sustain me in that time. So, I went looking for such. I was especially drawn to three new practices: mindfulness, artistic expression, and labyrinths. In the next year, I helped build a labyrinth and used several labyrinths for walking meditation and a centering tool. It was an empowering place to find healing.

How do you share the labyrinth now?

As an ordained minister, I often use labyrinths within church settings teaching contemplative prayer practice, but I am equally comfortable facilitating labyrinths as a secular endeavour in settings with counsellors, educators, and others. Its adaptability opens up multiple ways for people to experience the complementary archetypal pathways of Journeying (Pilgrimage) and Abiding that are partners within the human experience. I believe labyrinths offer opportunities for rest, clarity, and insight amidst a culture that too-often debilitates us with busy-ness, distraction, and confusion.

Please tell us about the Story Path labyrinth.

The initial vision was to design a labyrinth for use with children, so they could move and interact with the journey stories of their lives, communities and culture. John Ridder of Paxworks and I collaborated in the design of a three-circuit, three-quadrant labyrinth. It’s a smaller labyrinth with a shorter walk, wider pathways, and a larger center that can hold more children at one time. These elements facilitate the shorter attention span of most children. This labyrinth gets used for gathering and settling purposes, as a venue to experience stories and lessons in kinesthetic ways, and for play. The Story Path is also a way to help the next generations understand labyrinths as a normative and accessible part of their on-going life. We certainly encourage others to create additional methodologies to use with children on The Story Path. At this time, about a dozen Story Path labyrinths are in use, and we are eager to extend its application to other places where experiential learning is encouraged, such as Montessori schools. More about The Story Path can be found at: http://www.storypathlabyrinth.com


What inspired you to create the virtual North American Labyrinth Map?

I’ve always admired the World-wide Labyrinth Locator created and maintained by Jeff Saward (http://labyrinthlocator.com). Being a visual person, I imagined how a map might be a complementary tool to the amazing Labyrinth Locator and also help people to explore the ever-expanding number of labyrinths in North America.
  That ties into your passion for more normative use of the labyrinth, doesn’t it? 

One of my passions is to help empower deeper spiritual practice as a regular part of each person’s experience, whether secular or religious. I envision people using labyrinths for not just occasional special events, but in an ongoing basis to sustain, center and deepen their most-fully human potential. In www.wellfedspirit.org, I’ve created a free source for people interested in developing a variety of spiritual practices, including labyrinth work, to have a “well-fed spirit.” 

How would you describe your own spiritual practice?

While not always successful, I seek to abide well wherever I happen to find myself in life along the way, living within my limitations, but doing what I do with mindfulness and fulfillment. I seek to abide with an intentional quality in my step-taking at each moment. I want life to be as meaningful and enriching as possible, enjoying the journey instead of mindlessly rushing along. My desire for stillness, my photography, my Native American style flute playing, and my efforts to facilitate the labyrinth as a transformative activity are all part of my spiritual practice, as is everything else that is a part of my life. 
(Click here to hear Warren's Native American Flute Playing)

Is walking the labyrinth a regular part of your spiritual practice? 

I find deep comfort in the silence of walking labyrinths, like a retreat with a more Zen-type outlook. So I’ve surrounded myself with images of labyrinths in my office and use labyrinths as often as possible. The Labyrinth has taught me to focus on each moment in life as a sacred occasion even when I can’t see all the turns or the whole pattern of my living at one time. 

Can you explain why you are so open with your resources and creations? 

It is a way to share what I have learned through my own journey and to honor my own teachers, like Lauren Artress and others. It’s also a way I can help realize a vision for the labyrinth being a more universal and normative part of the wider human experience. I am always happy for my work to be used by others to deepen and empower their own living. (see Warren’s websites below) 

What is your latest artistic endeavor? 

The Word Labyrinths are now available through Veriditas. This project began when I started experimenting with words and phrases to wind around and form a labyrinth. Here’s an example:




Warren's Websites:

Well-Fed Spirit
Well-Fed Spirit’s labyrinth page

Warren’s photo-sharing site (permission given for
free use for personal non-profit purposes; attribution requested for public and publication settings)


And, labyrinth photos in particular

Virtual North American Labyrinth map

Warren playing the Native American style flute

More...

iSpiritual Product Highlight



 


Labyrinth Rubber Stamp Set

We are offering both of our Labyrinth patterns in a set of rubber stamps. Left to right in image: Chartres labyrinth, Santa Rosa labyrinth.

They're perfect for the classroom, art therapy settings and children love to use stamps. Both stamps are approximately 1-1/2" in diameter.
Packaged in a colorful organza bag.

The set of 2 is quite a savings from the single stamp pricing...


Click here to order



Global Healing Response


The Global Healing Response, founded in 2005 by Council member Ellen Bintz Meuch, offers an annual theme and quarterly ideas and information to enrich labyrinth walks. The GHR theme for 2014 is Unity and the focus for this quarter is Consensus. The quote is by Martin Luther King, Jr.: “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” - If each of us could host or personally take the time for a GHR labyrinth walk, think of the unified healing energy we could create! The first quarter is posted on the website, www.globalhealingresponse.com. We encourage you to visit the site soon and often.
 

Little Miracles on the Path


Each month, Linda Mikell, secretary to the Veriditas Council and New England Regional Representative, emails a Little Miracles on the Path story to 439 facilitators who have signed up for them. Facilitators from all over the world send her stories about interesting, touching events that happen at their labyrinth walks. If you would like to receive these stories, please contact Linda (edlinmik@optonline.net). Please don’t forget to send your story when you have one. Little Miracles are archived on the Facilitators Portal of the Veriditas Website.
 

Calling Facilitators: Invitation to Apply for
Membership in the Veriditas Council
Please respond by May 1, 2014


Do you want to deepen your involvement with the labyrinth, Veriditas, and the community of facilitators?

The Mission of the Veriditas Council is to serve the labyrinth and the Facilitator community by strengthening connections and developing resources. Our Purpose is to develop and implement practical ways to support the work of Veriditas facilitators, and we work in cooperation and collaboration with the Veriditas Board and the larger labyrinth community. The Vision of the Veriditas Council is a strong, community-based, global network of labyrinth Facilitators, supporting the work of Veriditas.

The Veriditas Council announces openings in the Council Circle and invites you to complete an application for membership in the Council.

You will find the Application Form on the Facilitator Portal of the Veriditas website. Click on "Facilitator Portal" in the list on the left side of the Home page. Your username is your Email and then add your password. All applications for this current open period are to be submitted electronically by May 1, 2014. If you have questions about the application or the process, please contact the Council at the following address: Council@Veriditas.org.




101 San Antonio Road, Petaluma, CA 94952   |   707-283-0373   |   contact@veriditas.org

Veriditas is dedicated to inspiring personal and planetary change and renewal through the labyrinth experience.

We accomplish our mission by training and supporting labyrinth facilitators around the world, and offering meaningful events that promote further understanding of the labyrinth as a tool for personal and community transformation. Our Vision is that the labyrinth experience guides us in developing the higher level of human awareness we need to thrive in the 21st century.

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